It’s been a long winter, and you’re all set to come out of hibernation, hit the road and enjoy the warmer weather. But is your vehicle up to the task? Before you jump in and start cruising, take time to spruce up your car for spring.
Go All Out with Pro Cleaning
Running your vehicle through the car wash a few times during the winter helps removes road salt and grime, but these quick baths don’t reach the nooks and crannies or address the dirt and debris your winter boots dump on the floor mats. This spring, invest in a thorough cleaning and detailing job to take care of everything. The pros have tools and techniques to make every inch of your car spic and span. You won’t have to contort yourself to vacuum Cheerios out from under the seats or spend an hour trying to get the tires looking just right. A professional clean and detail job eradicates the filth and ends with waxing and buffing so that you can cruise in style.
Check Those Tires
Whether you swap your snow tires for a warm-weather pair or use a set of all-season tires throughout the year, spring is the time to inspect the general condition and take a look at the tread. Excess wear reduces the ability of tires to grip the road and can make driving dangerous, especially during spring rains. If your tires are still in good condition, have your mechanic rotate and balance them to promote even wear and extend the lifespan.
Double-Check Your Documents
It’s not uncommon for the glove compartment to double as a wastebasket. Pop it open before your first spring outing, and get rid of the 700 takeout napkins you stuffed in there over the winter. While you’re at it, make sure all the important stuff is at hand, like your vehicle’s license and registration information, the owner’s manual and your insurance cards. Add any receipts or proofs of service required by your car’s warranty agreement, as well.
Check the Fluids
Check the levels of oil, wiper fluid, coolant and transmission fluid, and top them up as necessary. If it’s been a while since the oil was last changed, spring is a good time to have it taken care of. You should also ask your mechanic look for and repair leaks or damaged lines.
Update the Wiper Blades
Winter means ice, chipping away at your windshield with a scraper and inevitable damage to your wiper blades. Grab a new pair at the local auto parts store, and take a few minutes to install them so that you don’t find yourself staring at flapping strips of rubber the first time it rains.
Update the Emergency Kit
Spring and summer emergencies require different safety equipment than those encountered in winter. Exchange your extra coat and blanket for bottled water and a rain poncho, and make sure you have a flashlight with good batteries. You should also carry:
A fully stocked first aid kit
A tire jack
An extra coat or sweatshirt
A solar charger for your cell phone might also be a good idea, just in case you need to call for help and discover your battery is running low.
You’ll be surprised what a big difference it makes to take these steps to transition your car from winter to spring. It’s an almost magical transformation from a dirty, weather-beaten box on wheels to a sleek, sparkling machine that looks like it just came off the floor at the dealership. Keep caring for your car throughout the warmer months to ensure every ride is smooth and enjoyable.
About the Author
Theresa “Sam” Houghton is a writer, speaker and health coach from Troy, NY. She’s a regular contributor to NutritionStudies.org, and her work has appeared in the Honest Weight Food Co-Op Coop Scoop, Natural Awakenings Magazine and the NutritionFacts.org 2017 Daily Dozen calendar. She has been a featured guest on Focus on Albany, WMAC’s Food Friday and the Just Ask David podcast. When she's not writing or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, cook tasty plant-based food and knit socks.You can find out more about Sam at GreenGutWellness.com.